The distinguished John Thomas Webb was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1934. His parents, Frank and Jessie Webb, raised him in Gadsden, Alabama where he graduated from George Washington Carver High School. He continued his education at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College (now University), where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education with a major in Chemistry and Biology. He studied for his Master of Science Degree in Chemistry at Notre Dame University, Indiana. He continued his studies at Xavier University, Ohio and earned a Master of Science degree in Education Administration. His doctorial studies were at Miami University, Ohio, the Ohio State University, and North Western International University. He received a teaching certificate at the University of Dayton. Tom was also a licensed airplane pilot.
Tom played and lettered in four sports in high school and college. He was elected to the AAMU Athletic Hall of Fame and the Dayton Colts Football Hall of Fame. Tom was a football defensive back and a place kicker while in college. His athletic career included playing professional baseball in the Dodgers and Cardinals farm system, and basketball with The Harlem Magicians (most of the original Harlem Globe Trotters). Tom coached and refereed four different sports.
An African American pioneer, he retired from Dayton Public Schools after 30 years—a teacher, Assistant Principal at Roth High School, and Principal at Roosevelt and Dunbar High Schools and Longfellow. He also taught part time as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Dayton for 30 years.
Tom served as Project C.U.R.E.’s Board chairman and has been on the Board since its inception. Project C.U.R.E. Inc., recently opened a new multi-million dollar center that daily treats more than 600 opiate clients. He was also on the Drew Health Center’s Board.
Tom and his wife, Eliza, hosted the AAMU annual fish fry/scholarship fundraiser for 35 years at their home, providing many scholarships to Dayton-area students attending AAMU. He also founded the Roosevelt Memorial Track and Field Meet that also offers scholarships. A few of Tom’s memberships include Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Ohio Memorial Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and others.
Dr. J. Thomas was married to the love of his life, Eliza, for 64 years and they have one daughter – Ava N. Webb-Sharpless, Lieutenant Colonel USAF retired, (Kenneth M. Sharpless, Sr. Colonel, USAF retired), one grandson, (Kenneth M. Sharpless II), honorary grandsons Devin Searcy and Deric Humphrey, brother, Leonard Webb and a host of especially loved nieces, nephews and cousins. Tom was a member of Grace United Methodist Church (UMC) where he and his family were the first African Americans members. Tom taught Sunday school, served as an Usher and Worship Leader, and an Administrative Board member. Before Grace, he also served as the Assistant Pastor at St. Luke UMC in Sheffield, Alabama.
Service will be Live Streamed: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO0i84dfXAIJxZDpLdHEgkA
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